10 April 2015

Agents of SHIELD S2E13 "One of Us" review

"One of Us" pits Skye's father and various gifted individuals that he located using The Index against Coulson and Bobbi as he attempts to settle his vendetta with SHIELD. At the same time, Skye is introduced to Agent May's ex-husband, a psychologist who is trying to help her come to terms with her new powers, and Hunter is being held captive by Mac after he began to question exactly what Mac and Bobbi are up to behind everyone's backs.

The introduction of May's ex-husband to Agents of SHIELD is interesting, and provides "One of Us" with some small moments of humour that are much appreciated, but doesn't seem to really add any meat to the episode. Instead, it seems that this part of the episode is being used to introduce the character for later on, as his primary use here is to drop some pretty big hints at elements of May's back story that will no doubt be built upon in a later episode, and ultimately his recommendation on what to do with Skye after he has interviewed her is fairly obvious - its certainly the logical next step in Skye's story. 

The increased focus on how people react to super-humans and the idea of a list to keep track of them all in "One of Us" has done nothing to dissuade me from my belief that the civil war in Captain America: Civil War will begin in (or at least, be strongly linked to) Agents of SHIELD. The links between franchises and the near constant developments of a world we have now spent dozens of hours in is the ultimate realisation of a shared universe, and I would love to see Agents of SHIELD have its moment in the spotlight as the actions on the show change the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

I found the other half of the episode that has Coulson dealing with Cal and his team of gifted much more entertaining. A couple of his recruits genuinely seem powerful, the kind of people you might want on a super-powered vengeance team, but the other two are mostly useless. The idea that a woman who replaced the tips of her fingers with scalpels is registered as gifted is bizarre, and the fact that only SHIELD can deal with her rather than the regular police even more so. Regardless, the confrontation between Cal's team and SHIELD is well done even if it is over too quickly, and I'm hoping we'll get to see more of the team (specifically, Angar the Screamer, who turns Cal's team from mildly formidable to a genuine threat all on his own) in the future.

But the big reveal that "One of Us" has to offer is finally finding out who exactly Mac and Bobbi are working for. Actually, to call it a reveal seems like somewhat of an over exaggeration - we get a logo and a name and that's it. But it's a doozy of a logo and a name, opening up the remaining episodes of the season to a whole new story line that could truly elevate this season in the same way that the Hydra reveal elevated season 1.

"One of Us" is potentially the strongest episode since the mid-season break so far, giving us a dramatic plot twist, further development on the nature of Skye's powers and some interesting, albeit under utilised, villains that could easily show up again in the future, and I hope they do. The potential for a huge, season finale bringing these plot threads together is exciting, and I have no doubt that Agents of SHIELD is good enough to pull it off.

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